‘A True Hero’: Ex-Chicago Cop Dies From Decades-Old Gunshot Wound

on Sep8

8 September 2017 | 2:56 am

A former Chicago police officer died Tuesday of complications from the wound he suffered when he was shot with a Civil War-era replica pistol during a hostage situation nearly 30 years ago.

Bernard “Bernie” Domagala was shot July 14, 1988, in the 7200 block of South Stony Island Avenue, officials said.

Domagala, a 37-year-old member of the Chicago Police Department’s Hostage, Barricade and Terrorist Unit at the time, responded to a scene where a former police officer had shot a mover who was attempting to evict him, police said.

“Officer Domagala had taken up a position behind the corner of a nearby garage, approximately 100 feet from the home,” police said in a statement. “As he peeked around the garage’s corner, the subject fired one round for a replica Civil War-era pistol, and the round struck Officer Domagala in the forehead.”

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Police fired at least 50 tear gas canisters in the home until Tommie Lee Hudson, the former officer, surrendered, the Chicago Tribune reports. Hudson came out waving a white flag after an eight-hour standoff.

Domagala was taken to Michael Reese Hospital, where he underwent six hours of surgery to remove a bullet from his brain, according to the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.

Hudson was charged with attempted murder but was found incompetent to stand trial and was committed to the state mental hospital, according to police.

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The Tribune reports he died sometime in the ’90s.

The foundation called Domagala a “true hero” in a statement Thursday.

“Despite the many challenges his life held for him since being injured, he never lost his love for the two most important things in his life: his family and the Chicago Police Department,” it reads.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel noted Domagala’s death, sending condolences to Domagala’s family.

“The passing of Chicago Police Office[r] Bernard Domagala is a tragic reminder of the danger our officers confront and the sense of dedication and duty in which they serve,” the mayor’s statement reads. “Officer Domagala dreamed of being a Chicago police officer from a young age, and he served and sacrificed for the city he loved.”

The decades-old wound Domagala suffered left him with a traumatic brain injury that rendered him disabled in a rehabilitation center for several years, police said.

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He underwent multiple brain surgeries but continued to experience “severe complications.”

Domagal, who served on the force for seven years and was assigned to the Gang Crimes South Unit, is survived by his wife and three children. He was 66.

Published at 8:27 PM CDT on Sep 7, 2017 | Updated at 9:56 PM CDT on Sep 7, 2017

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